The Perils of Federalism: Race, Poverty, and the Politics of Crime Control

Paperback | October 5, 2010

byLisa L. Miller

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Much of the existing research on race and crime focuses on the manipulation of crime by political elites or the racially biased nature of crime policy. In contrast, Lisa L. Miller here specifically focuses on political and socio-legal institutions and actors that drive these developments andtheir relationship to the politics of race and poverty; in particular, the degree to which citizens at most risk of victimization - primarily racial minorities and the poor - play a role in the development of political responses to crime and violence. Miller begins her study by providing a detailed analysis of the narrow and often parochial nature of national and state crime politics, drawing a sharp contrast to the active and intense local political mobilization on crime by racial minorities and the urban poor. In doing so, The Perils ofFederalism illustrates the ways in which the structure of U.S. federalism has contributed to the absence of black and poor victims of violence from national policy responses to crime and how highly organized but narrowly focused interest groups, such as the National Rifle Association, have adisproportionate influence in crime politics. Moreover, it illustrates how the absence of these groups from the policy process at other levels promotes policy frames that are highly skewed in favor of police, prosecutors, and narrow citizen interests, whose policy preferences often converge onincreasing punishments for offenders. Ultimately, The Perils of Federalism challenges the conventional wisdom about the advantages of federalization and explains the key disadvantages that local communities face in trying to change policy.

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Much of the existing research on race and crime focuses on the manipulation of crime by political elites or the racially biased nature of crime policy. In contrast, Lisa L. Miller here specifically focuses on political and socio-legal institutions and actors that drive these developments andtheir relationship to the politics of race an...

Lisa L. Miller is Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:266 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 5, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199757224

ISBN - 13:9780199757220

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Interests, Venues and Group Participation2. A Political History of Crime on the Congressional Agenda3. Crime Politics in Congress4. Interest Groups and Crime Politics in the State5. Crime, Law and Group Politics in Two Urban Locales6. Citizenship Through Participation7. Democratic Accountability and Social ControlNotesAppendix AAppendix BAppendix CReferencesIndex